Cyber Valley Research Group

Biomedical Microsystems

Dr. Tian Qiu

Advances in minimally invasive procedures and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly impacting medical care. Future developments depend on a close interplay between hardware and its integration with big data and AI. We are interested in developing tools that collect large amounts of data and to learn from the data to understand the underlying principles. The group has ongoing collaborations with medical teams to integrate the technologies with augmented reality (AR) systems for minimally-invasive surgery and training.

Realistic surgical simulation systems

Rapid prototyping and augmented reality (AR) technologies

The physical part provides high-fidelity anatomy made from biomimetic soft materials that allow surgery to be performed, bleeding and realistic multi-modality medical imaging. The cyber part presents an interface to visual and sensory data. The AR phantom project will thereby produce the first soft dynamic organ model, which will open up new possibilities in medical training and the testing of medical algorithms and devices.

Selected publications in this area

F. Adams, T. Qiu, A. Mark, B. Fritz, L. Kramer, D. Schlager, U. Wetterauer, A. Miernik, P. Fischer, Soft 3D-printed phantom of the human kidney with collecting system, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 45: 4, 963–972 (2016).

D. Li, R. Suarez-Ibarrola, E. Choi, M. Jeong, C. Gratzke, A. Miernik, P. Fischer, T. Qiu*, Soft phantom for the training of renal calculi diagnostics and lithotripsy, 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC), Talk, Berlin, Germany, 24-28 Jul., 2019.

Big Data Sensing and AI for Medicine

Cyber-physical model

Lots of important medical and physiological data cannot be recorded on a real human body due to safety, ethical, legal or technical reasons. The sensing and modeling of big data on a realistic cyber-physical model system is the key to many design problems.

Selected publications in this area

E. Choi, F. Adams, S. Palagi, A. Gengenbacher, D. Schlager, P.-F. Müller, U. Wetterauer, A. Miernik, P. Fischer, T. Qiu*, A high-fidelity prostate phantom for surgical simulation and quantitative evaluation, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 48, 437 (2020).

T. Qiu, F. Adams, B. Fritz, L. Kramer, U. Wetterauer, A. Miernik, P. Fischer, High-fidelity kidney phantom for multi-purpose surgical training, Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, Talk, London, UK, Jun. 25-28, 2016.

New micro-/nano-devices for minimally-invasive medicine

The recent technology advancements of micro-/nano-engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) opens up new possibilities for the next-generation surgical robots – wireless micro-/nano-robots, which have various medical applications including drug delivery, in vivo sensing and stimulation. The team succeeded in developing the first nanorobots that can penetrate real tissue – the vitreous of porcine eyeball.

Selected publications in this area

Z. Ma, K. Melde, A.G. Athanassiadis, M. Schau, H. Richter, T. Qiu*, P. Fischer*, Spatial ultrasound modulation by digitally controlling microbubble arrays, Nature Communications,11, 4537 (2020).

T. Yu, A.G. Athanassiadis*, M.N. Popescu, V. Chikkadi, A. Güth, D.P. Singh, T. Qiu*, P. Fischer, Microchannels with Self-Pumping Walls, ACS Nano, (2020).

Z. Wu, J. Troll, H.-H. Jeong, Q. Wei, M. Stang, F. Ziemssen, S. Schnichels, T. Qiu*, P. Fischer*, A swarm of slippery micropropellers penetrates the vitreous body of the eye, Science Advances, 4, eaat4388 (2018).

T. Qiu, F. Adams, S. Palagi, K. Melde, A. G. Mark, U. Wetterauer, A. Miernik, P. Fischer. Wireless acoustic-surface actuators for miniaturized endoscopes, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9, 42536-42543 (2017).

T. Qiu, T.-C. Lee, A. G. Mark, K. I. Morozov, R. Münster, O. Mierka, S. Turek, A. M. Leshansky, P. Fischer, Swimming by reciprocal motion at low Reynolds number. Nature Communications, 5, 5119 (2014).

Full list of publications


Highlights in the media

Dr. Qiu presented the research to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Baden-Württemberg’s Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann: Press release

Organ Phantom work: Stuttgarter Zeitung,,  Innovations Report

Micro-/Nano-robots work: Nature Reserach Highlights,  BIOPRO Baden Wüttermberg,  3SAT NANO

Medical collaborators

Sektion für Urotechnologie, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

Klinik für Urologie, Universitätsklinikum Mannheim

Experimental Surgical Endoscopy Group, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

Ophthalmology, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

Funding sources

This picture showsTian Qiu

Tian Qiu

Cyber Valley Group Leader

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